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Thermopylae: The Battle for the West [Kindle Edition]

Ernle Bradford
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 256 pages
  • Word Wise: Enabled
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Book Description

The struggle between the Persian army and the Spartans in the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C was a turning point in the Greco-Persian wars.

The ambitious Persian King Xerxes planned to conquer the Greek world by launching simultaneous attacks on Thermopylae and Carthage.

Xerxes had assembled one of the largest armies ever thrown into battle.

Leonidas's troops were a small fraction of the Persian forces.

And yet despite the overwhelming odds against him, Leonidas and his men stood their ground for three days in an historic display of patriotism and courage.

It was one of the greatest battles of the ancient world, and one that was to be studied by military strategists for centuries to come.

'Thermopylae: The Battle for the West' is the gripping story of that decisive conflict.

The acclaimed historian Ernle Bradford tells the story of the battle, including the building of the bridge at Hellespont, the events at Carthage and the battles at Thermopylae, Salamis and Plataea.

He draws on the works of Herodotus, Plutarch and Aeschylus for historical accuracy.

'A gripping story' - The Economist.

Ernle Bradford was a leading British historian specializing in the Mediterranean and naval issues. A prolific author, his works included books on Julius Caesar, Hannibal and Nelson.

Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.

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Product Description


Ancient Warfare, Vol VII, Issue 5 "Accessible to a wider audience."

About the Author

Ernie Bradford served in the Royal Navy during World War II. His many books include The Great Siege, Ulysses Found, The Shield and the Sword, Paul the Traveler, and The Sultan's Admiral.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 675 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Endeavour Press Ltd.; 1 edition (13 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #195,815 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By Bugs
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had read elsewhere of how important the Graeco-Persian wars were to western civilisation, but had no real idea why. This
rather good book starts to answer that question. The individual
Greeks,not just the city-states or their leaders, were fighting
for a concept- the freedom and value of a man himself to make his
own destiny. The centralised autocratic Persian edifice was the
antithesis of this.These wars actually decided the future of the
world,splitting it into two cultures. Thermopylae was one of the
key battles but not the decisive one.
The book really deals with the whole second Persian invasion,the
eponymous battle acting as a fulcrum.It is gripping,knowedgeable
and informative.A supposed historical bias towards the Greeks is
redressed with the Persian culture getting a fair telling.It raises many interesting issues quite simply,obviously intended by Ernle Bradford to be elaborated upon in other books.In so doing he has achieved his aim.Anyone who reads "Thermopylae" will seek further, appetite whetted.
Small points detract:as usual,the maps deserve to be better and
more numerous;the battles should be shown with formations and
lines of movement,and diagrams(hoplite armour,Hellespont bridge
etc.)would help.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable book which I would defy any non-
scholar to stop before the end.I highly recommend it.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Account of this Great Battle 31 July 1999
By A Customer
This book offers the reader an enjoyable and interesting narrative of that most famous battle at Thermopylae. The author makes it clear that its not going to be a in-depth account but more of an overview of the battle and the Persian campaign against the Greek City States. If you are looking for a more detailed and scholarly book I would suggest Peter Green's book titled 'The Greco-Persian Wars'. Overall, bearing in mind that this book was published in 1980, this is a decent book covering Thermopylae and how the Spartan's fought and why. It made me want to go and hire the old classic video of the 300! Well worth the time to sit down and read.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Ernie Bradford attempts to cover the Persian campaign up to and including the aftermath of Salamis but does so in a rather subjective way, where his opinions seem to account for more than historical facts. He does not spend enough time on the actual battle at Thermopylae nor on the central characters but he has a great regard for the Persians and Xerxes himself, something classically educated readers may be missing with their Grrek and Roman bias. The author's enthusiasm comes across well but his knowledge of sailing in the Aegean can become a bit wearing as it is referred to rather too often.
Overall an enjoyable read which stimulated me to seek further more scholarly works on this subject
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent depiction of the battle of Thermopylae 28 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I recently read Persians by Aeschylus as part of my degree and I wanted to read more on the subject. Bradford's book appealed to me as the paperback reviews claimed Bradford held the Persians and Xerxes in high regard, which is a refreshing change as many historical accounts tend to have a Greek or Roman bias. As well as portraying the Persians in an empathetic light, Bradford also pays particular attention to the individual characters. The fact Bradford draws on the works of Herodotus, Plutarch and Aeschylus for historical accuracy was very helpful for further research.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fans of the film 300 should read this book 3 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
After watching the film 300, I wanted to learn more about the Battle of Thermopylae. I found this book easy to follow and very informative. Bradford not only depicts the battle of Thermopylae itself, but also the events leading up to it, for example the building of the bridge at Hellespont. He also goes into extra detail about the battles Salamis and Plataea which, for a novice like me, was extremely useful as it meant I could get a good overview of all the battles in one book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough Examination 1 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had only vague understanding of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. Ernle shows in this book just how much of a turning point the battle was in the Greco-Persian wars. He gives a strong character analysis of the key players including King Xerxes. He also recounts the three day battle as well as those all important events that led up to Thermopylae. What I liked about Bradford's book is that by reading about this one battle I learnt so much more about the historians of the time such as Herodotus and Plutarch. A must read for those interested in classics and also studying historiography of the era.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book; crappy kindle version. 6 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book, despite the criticisms of it posted by other reviewers. What has annoyed me are the large number of typos present: pointless gaps e.g "moun tain", random words in italics giving a false impression of emphasis, dates in odd formats (48-32 rather than 483-2), random extra words appearing in the middle of sentences, to mention but 4 examples.

It's another example of piss-poor product vetting by Amazon. They seems quite happy to sell Kindle books, but cannot be bothered to ensure that they are of sufficient quality. Considering how little they pay their warehouse staff, you think they'd employ some proof readers!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting... 7 Aug. 2009
By Top Cat
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After having seen a programme on the History channel about the last stand of the 300 with, of course, their native compatriots at Thermopylae, I thought I'd like to read up on the subject. In a nutshell this book gives a good account of background events leading up to Thermopylae and of what happened afterwards, all the way up to the battle of Plataea (the Persians eventually getting kicked out of Greece for good at this point) but, for me, I was after something that dealt with what happened at Thermopylae in particular rather than the wider picture. Nevertheless, a good book which will give the reader a good understanding of the subject. However, I did, at times, begin to get slightly confused as to which side the various peoples identified(Thebans, Thespians, Carthanigians etc.) were on. My second book on the subject, "Hot Gates" by Stephen Pressfield, is on order. Thermopylae - a fascinating subject.
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